Biedrins on returning to form: 'I think I can get there'

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Biedrins on returning to form: 'I think I can get there'

OAKLAND -- Warriors center Andris Biedrins said at media dayon Monday that he is ready and committed for the upcoming season. Ordinarily, aplayer wouldnt have to make that kind of declaration on Day 1, but Biedrinscircumstances arent ordinary.Biedrins was the only Warriors player who didnt participatein optional workouts earlier this month, and then coach Mark Jackson publiclyexpressed disappointment about it.But Biedrins was alongside his teammates on Monday, thefirst official day of training camp.My commitment level has always been the same as it is now and like it was before, said Biedrins, entering his ninth NBA season. Thatdoesnt mean just because I wasnt here I wasnt practicing. I was practicinghard, twice a day, for the past month. I feel great. As long as I can help,come in here in great shape at the start of training camp with the other guys,thats almost the same thing.Like he has done in previous offseasons, Biedrins spent mostof the month of September in Santa Barbara working out.None of this would be in issue, of course, if it werent forthe fact that Biedrins career is in a three-year free fall. In 2008-09,Biedrins averaged 11.9 points, 11.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Sincethen hes been a shell of himself, and his numbers and playing time haveshrunk.RELATED: Andris Biedrins career stats News
Nobodys been able to explain why exactly this has happened,including Biedrins. But he said on Monday he thinks he can return to the playerhe once was.I think it is (possible to get back to where he was),Biedrins said. I think physically Im there. A lot has to do with just kind ofbelieving in yourself more than I am. Ive had frustrating years and you kindof stop believing in yourself so much as you did before like three years ago.Thats the main reason. But I think I can get there.Assuming Andrew Bogut is healthy, Biedrins is going to haveto get there coming off the bench. And hes expected to get some competition atbackup center from rookie Festus Ezeli.He just needs to realize thats hes not a bad basketballplayer, Bogut said of Biedrins. Regardless of what people say, he can helpus. My message to him would be: You can help us. What people say? Who cares?You proved that (you could play) a couple of years ago. No excuse why he cantdo it now.

RELATED: Five takeaways from Warriors media day
Whatever your past coaches, whatever your past generalmanagers, whatever the past fans have said, who cares? He can help us. I thinkif he hears that from us, it will help him.The key for the Warriors will be to try to keep Biedrins inthe fold. He has had flashes over the past few years but hes been nowhere nearconsistent.We need to get his confidence level back to where he canhelp us, Bogut said. Hes 7-foot, he can move, hes mobile. He can rebound.He can block shots. We need to get him to do it again.Biedrins acknowledged on Monday that his confidence haswavered in the recent past. But he feels that might be changing.I think its much higher than it was last year, Biedrinssaid of his confidence. I think I had a great month now and I was practicing alot and I feel good about myself. So, well see when training camp starts andIm excited to play with the guys.

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

BOX SCORE

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had an All-Star Game for the record books.

And on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed he's clearly part of the future and a midcourt lob attempt from James Harden even went in, Davis absolutely stole the show.

He scored 52 points, 10 more than Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star record that had stood for 55 years, and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182 on Sunday night — the highest-scoring game in league history.

Davis made 26 shots and took 39, both of those also All-Star records. He even outdid Westbrook, who had 41 points in just 20 minutes — which ordinarily would have been enough to merit him what would have been a third straight MVP award.

Not this time. It was Davis hoisting the trophy, to the delight of his New Orleans fans.

"It was a lot of fun," Davis said. "My teammates did a great job of looking for me."

Durant had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West — where a subplot emerged as DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, prompting some speculation that a trade sending him out of Sacramento might be looming.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points for the East, with 12 dunks in his night. LeBron James scored 23 points to become the first All-Star to eclipse 300 in a career, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 14 assists, and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 for the East.

Davis became the story that overshadowed The Story coming into this game, that being the Durant-Westbrook whatever.

And if there is any animus remaining between Durant and Westbrook, it was hidden. They passed each other the ball and slapped hands in the pregame layup line, and not long after Westbrook checked into the game the former Oklahoma City teammates provided one of the game's top highlights — a give-and-go, capped by Durant lobbing the ball to set Westbrook up for a dunk.

"OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?" Curry shouted on the West bench, which moments later broke into celebration. Players jumped and threw hands skyward, Curry tossing a cupful of water onto a smiling Durant amid it all.

Draymond Green called the play "cute," and Westbrook and Durant seemed happy with it as well.

"It was a nice give-and-go, man," Westbrook said. "Good give-and-go. Made a good pass. I barely got over the rim, but it was a nice give-and-go."

Added Durant: "It was a great basketball play. He was open so I threw him the lob. He can jump really high so yeah, good play."

Some fans were shouting "De-Fense!" in the fourth quarter. West center DeAndre Jordan heard them, rising from his seat on the West bench to yell "No, no, no" back in their direction.

If those fans were serious, they were disappointed.

Westbrook scored 12 points — all on 3s — in a 63-second span late in the third quarter, coming off the bench and firing over and over and over again. And then he opened the fourth quarter with another 3, giving him 34 points in just under 14 minutes played to that point.

It looked like he was a cinch for MVP honors, until Davis scored 20 points in the fourth.

TIP-INS

East: Irving also led the East in rebounds with seven. ... Kyle Lowry scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16. ... No East player logged more than 24 minutes.

West: Curry took cover in the third quarter, comically hitting the deck face-first as Antetokounmpo went in for yet another dunk. So later in the quarter, Antetokounmpo went over Curry for a rebound slam — one that left Curry staring at the scoreboard for a replay. ... Kawhi Leonard had a steal and dunk in the opening minute, a defensive display that left West coach Steve Kerr in hysterics.

EMBIID CLOSE

Joel Embiid wanted to be in the All-Star Game, and he was close — literally and figuratively.

The Philadelphia star sat on the edge of the baseline next to the West bench, meaning he got to greet players throughout the night and share a few words with some at halftime.

CELEB WATCH

A huge roar greeted Jon Batiste, who performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" pregame, when he started the song.

It wasn't for him.

That happened to be the moment when John Legend — the halftime performer — and Chrissy Teigen were shown at their sideline seats on the video screens around the arena. And a louder cheer came not long afterward when Beyonce and Jay Z got on-screen.

Among the other celebs in the seats: Guy Fieri, Dave Chappelle, Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and The Roots.

UP NEXT

The next All-Star Game is Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, which will host for a record sixth time.

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will not repeat as the NBA All-Star Game's 3-point shootout champion. 

In need of 19 points, Thompson managed only 18 -- that allowed Kemba Walker to advance into the semifinals. 

Houston's Eric Gordon had the high score of the first round. He went on to win the championship -- besting Kyrie Irving.

Thompson has made 182 3-pointers this season which ranks him fifth in the league.